Haunting photos show children’s toys and a pram abandoned outside the home where a little girl was allegedly left to starve to death in her own filth.
Willow Dunn, four, who had Down syndrome, was found dead at a property in Brisbane, Australia.
Police say her body was in an advanced state of decomposition lying in a cot and has been partially eaten by rats when they entered the rental property.
The little girl’s father Mark James Dunn, 43, and stepmother Shannon Leigh White, 43, have both been charged with her murder.
Dunn alleged he found his daughter face down in her cot. He was later arrested.
Heartbreaking pictures show the little girl’s teddy bear dressed in a Parramatta Eels rugby team jersey in the window of the home.
An abandoned pram was left outside the front lawn as forensic teams scoured the scene for more clues about her death.
A train set, teddy bears and a child’s pink play castle were among toys left by the roadside.
An investigation is underway to determine if Willow starved to death and was denied medication.
A post-mortem examination concluded Willow was experiencing “serious malnourishment” and other health issues “that indicated sustained mistreatment”.
It also alleged she had scalp burns and bone-deep infected hip sores.
Willow grew up without her biological mother – who died in childbirth – and lived with Dunn, as well as a stepmother and stepsister in their rented home.
The Department of Child Safety has confirmed it had been in touch with the family in relation to the tragic child, but has reportedly refused to give any further details.
LNP shadow police minister Dan Purdie told the Courier Mail: “The big question in such a horrific case of alleged neglect is how a vulnerable young child has slipped through the cracks and how this could have been prevented.”
Neighbours, some of whom have laid tributes outside the home, have reportedly claimed they had never seen Willow, despite the family having lived at the property for a year.
Dunn was charged under a new definition of murder in Queensland aimed at child-killers, which includes “reckless indifference to human life”.
Two ambulances and multiple police cars were seen parked at the home following the discovery, with a crime scene established.
The following day investigators returned to further examine the home and gather forensic swabs, it is reported.
Pictures taken at the scene on show officials in hazmat suits taking forensic swabs and further examining the family home.
During a previous hearing at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, in which the accused was not present, the case was adjourned until July 20.